Northrop Grumman gets USN contract for helicopter mission computers

The US Navy contracted external link Northrop Grumman $104 million for the procurement of up to 503 technical refresh mission computers for the UH-1Y Venom, AH-1Z Viper, and UH-60V Black Hawk helicopters.

The deal includes units, retrofit units, and spare units not only for the US Marine Corps and the US Defense Logistics Agency, but also for the government of Bahrain under the Foreign Military Sales Act. The Venom is a twin-engine, medium-sized utility chopper providing command & control and assault support under day/night and adverse weather conditions.

The UH-1Y is the most significant upgrade ever made to the battle-proven H-1 helicopter. At the heart of the upgrade is a new four-bladed, all-composite and ballistically tolerant (up to 23 mm) rotor system.

The Viper is a twin-engine attack helicopter based on the AH-1W SuperCobra developed for the US Marine Corps. It features a four-blade, bearingless, composite main rotor system, upgraded avionics and a new target sighting system. In February, Bell Helicopter won $240 million to manufacture and deliver 12 AH-1Z attack helicopters to Bahrain.

The UH-60V Black Hawk is the upgraded version of the UH-60L with the glass cockpit of the UH-60M.

Upgrades feature a centralized processor with a partitioned, modular operational flight program enabling capabilities to be added as software-only modifications. Work for the technical refresh mission computers will take place in Utah, Maryland, and California and is scheduled to be finished in December 2023.